This is a perfectly adequate issue of The Traveler. It may even be better than that, but I’m comparing it to the first four issues.
The first half, though is bogged down by exposition, but Mark Waid and Tom Peyer conserve all the energy for the second half of the book, and that’s when things sparkle. Aliens materialize. The Traveler battles them and guards his friend, Nate. He dopes out a little puzzle, and although the solution still leads to a cynical ending, you’ve got to respect the twist.
Artists Chad Hardin and Chris Beckett illustrate a vivid tapestry of panels demonstrating the young Traveler’s time-focused powers and his dawning understanding of the new science fiction universe he inhabits. I’m really considering Hardin as the new Kevin Maguire because he mastered the art of the human physique as well as the subtleties of human expression, and like Maguire his artwork is very open, rarely shrouded in shadows.
The Traveler still continues to be a welcome treat in my brown bag. This issue may appeal to new readers more, but the second half of the book will still enchant the faithful fan.